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Monday, December 15, 2014

Sleep: Post #6--Russel Foster--Summary of his TED Talk

Why do we sleep? ~Russell Foster (2103 TED Talk)

We treat sleep lightly. Sleep was once revered—Shakespeare called it “the sweet honey-dew of sleep.” But later, people like Edison had a dimmer view—“Sleep is a criminal waste of time!” We spend 1/3 of our time sleeping. But you don’t eat, work, or do much of anything while sleeping, so we sometimes consider it a waste of time. BUT: The brain does not shut down when we sleep—it does important things: 1) Restoration—a host of genes are only turned on during sleep for restoration; 2) Sleep enhances both learning and memory consolidation—hard to learn when you’re tired; 3) Innovation is enhanced by 3 times with proper sleep. Neural connections that are important are strengthened and others loosened—basic consolidation.

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